Lighthouses Are Being Given Away For Free To Live In

Free lighthouses will be given to anyone that wants to help preserve nautical history.

By TeeJay Small | Published

The United States is preparing to give away a number of free lighthouses as the growing use of GPS has rendered them obsolete. According to a recent write-up in The Guardian, the federal government plans to offload these structures by auctioning them off or outright gifting them to anyone willing to preserve and maintain their historic stature. With the skyrocketing price of real estate, it seems like many candidates would flock to the opportunity to get some free ocean-view property, even if Robbert Eggers‘ 2019 film The Lighthouse has scared some away from the scenic locations.

The program, which seeks to gift these free lighthouses to the public, is being run by the General Services Administration, who have made it their mission to preserve structures such as these historic sites, many of which are over a century old. Lighthouses were once considered an outright necessity due to their ability to save ships from sinking, though modern technology such as GPS and sonar have made it easier for ships to track their location in the ocean without any external help. The use of modern technology can even tell seafarers near-exact information regarding how close they are to land, how deep the water is beneath them, and where the nearest icebergs are, so as to avoid a Titanic-style disaster.

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson in The Lighthouse

Though the free lighthouses have become obsolete, many members of the public still find great fascination in the aged structures, with many becoming local landmarks, sites for tourists to take photos, and even being named the school mascot for the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. With over 150 lighthouses transferred to private owners by the GSA since Congress passed the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act back in the year 2000, the program is seeking to deliver the deed to at least 10 more lighthouses free of charge in the near future. The lighthouses in question are located along the East Coast of the United States, with many dotting the coastlines of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine.

While the new owners will be responsible for maintaining many of the free lighthouses, some are receiving upkeep from non-profit organizations which also seek to retain the value of these cultural landmarks, with the agencies in question getting the option to purchase the land outright before the properties are offered at the auction. Public auctions are set to be held online at the GSA official website throughout June, with some bids starting at $50,000. While these auctioned lighthouses aren’t free, many of them have well-renovated living spaces inside of them, making their 5-figure price tag a far cry from even the most inexpensive homes in America, particularly amid the current ongoing real-estate crisis.

If you’re interested in getting a free lighthouse, the website is absolutely worth exploring, even if you’re concerned that Robbert Pattinson may arrive and beat a seagull to death in front of you, or you’re worried about being subjected to Willem Dafoe‘s poorly cooked lobster as the growing existential dread of your everlasting solitude swallows what’s left of your very sanity. All in all, it seems like a small price to pay to escape the growing rent trap!